December 04, 2005

Enough Bowdlerization to go around

"Until then we'll have to muddle through, somehow" would have been a lot less festive than "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough" as the message in our Christmas cards, but we've just learned [You should have known. --ed] from our imail correspondent that the shining star was a fig leaf for a squeamish Judy Garland -- who sang the "muddle through" version in her 1944 starmaker "Meet Me in St. Louis" -- later on in her career [Does anyone out there have the timeline?]. According to Wikipedia [Don't believe everything you read. --ed]:

The melancholy tune and lyrics were originally even more somber but were adapted by the song writers to the current version [shining star replacing muddling through] at Garland's request.

Cross posted at sisu

Bowdlerization can occur at any time and used to come mainly from the right. But  even back then the left was making inroads. Another early lyric written out of "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas," linked at Wikipedia:

As a young adult pastor in California in 1990, O'Brien met [composer] Martin, who explained that the song's original version said, "through the years, we all will be together if the Lord allows." But the words were changed to "if the fates allow" to avoid any religious language, O'Brien notes.

There's nothing like the fear of God to strike the fear of God in the language police. We would suggest they lighten up, but it seems their very sense of self depends upon misreading the establishment clause to mean freedom from, rather than -- as the Founding Fathers intended -- freedom of religion.

Posted by Sissy Willis at December 4, 2005 06:47 PM